Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport debuts new TSA scannerSubmitted: 05/18/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport debuts new TSA scanner
RHINELANDER - The first steps to board Delta Flight 7414 from Rhinelander to Minneapolis started the same way as usual Thursday morning.  But instead of going through the old metal detector, passengers took a new path after some specific instructions.

"We really knew what to expect," Jean Davidson said, on her way to Phoenix, Arizona.

The TSA put air travelers through the newly installed AIT-2 scanner, which went in May 10.  The machine runs a full-body scan using millimeter wave technology.  It produces a "cookie cutter" outline, which pinpoints any spot where someone might be hiding a weapon or device.


"Anything we can do to keep us safer, we've got to really appreciate it," Davidson said.

The AIT-2 doesn't eliminate, but largely cuts down on the need for pat downs from false positives, like those that appear from replacement joints. Rhinelander's scanner is now one of about 860 AIT units stationed at 258 U.S. airports.

"The screening that they're undergoing is going to be identically the same here in the United States," Wisconsin's TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay said. "It takes time, it takes the funding and training of our officers, but at some point we'll have a pretty good, 100-percent baseline standard from a technology standpoint regardless of the size of the community the airport's located."

Lendvay says the new scanner emits waves that are 1,000 times less than international energy limits. But it doesn't replace TSA officers altogether. Anytime an item is found, a targeted pat down is still required. In those cases, an officer of the same sex as a passenger will conduct the pat down. Travelers are given the option to go in a secure, private area for the pat down.

"Very difficult [to replace humans]," Lendvay said. "You still need what we consider the human factor of the officer coming in and resolving... This ensures that we're maintaining privacy associated with the screening process."

The TSA says the scanner is more effective and efficient than metal detectors. It only takes three or four seconds to actually scan a passenger. In addition, the device is completely federally funded, coming at no cost to Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport.

"We're patient, we're glad we have it," Airport Director Joe Brauer said.

Brauer knew smaller terminals like his would need to wait to get this technology, which debuted in 2010. But with an install that only took about an hour, Brauer says safety was instantly upgraded.

"It's good for our travelers, it's good for the airport and it's basically good for aviation," Brauer said.

The scanner marks the start of a new process making the screening at small, "gateway" airports like Rhinelander's better, offering peace of mind to travelers headed to bigger hubs.

"It's the small places [terrorists] can hit, which we don't even expect, so it's very important," Davidson said before boarding her flight.

The TSA is working to get the exact same technology in all commercial airports, regardless of size. The agency expects to only need to update the software, which means the units should last several years.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - A man whose armed robbery of a Madison Culver's restaurant led to a bystander's fatal heart attack has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Nicholas Ivy and Xavier Fleming pleaded guilty in August to causing the death of 56-year-old Chris Kneubuehl, of Twin Lakes, during the robbery last year.

+ Read More

OSHKOSH - A man escaped from Oshkosh's Drug Abuse Correctional Center, a part of the Wisconsin Correctional Center System, Saturday afternoon at 2:34 p.m.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The day before gun deer season sends dozens of people into Mel's Trading Post in Rhinelander.

Over the past several decades, store owner Mitch Mode has seen one particular group of customers drop off: kids.

"When I grew up, hunting was the only game in town," Mode said. "Now you've got a lot of youth sport activities, you've got a lot of things going on in a young person's life."

Mentored gun deer license sales have dropped from nearly 15,000 last year to under 13,000 this year with the bulk of license sales over.

That means fewer kids under 11 are going out with their parents.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Many people plan to fill their bellies this Thanksgiving with plenty of turkey.

However, local firefighters warn using turkey fryers can be one of the most dangerous cooking tools.

Rhinelander firefighter Luke Drummond said Thanksgiving keeps his team working around the clock.

"Thanksgiving is actually the busiest day of the year for structure fires," said Drummond. "Turkey fryers are a big thing. Obviously, oil and water don't mix. So, if you have that water in with your hot oil, there's going to be a reaction. And it's a pretty violent explosive reaction."

Drummond said you should never leave a fryer unattended.

Turkey fryer explosions can be massive and can expand at least two times its size every minute.


+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - The sizzle of the grill is a familiar sound for Bob Lee. 

He's been cooking at the Tomahawk Venison Feed for 34 years. 

Some things change from year to year, like the weather.

+ Read More

CRANDON - Jackie Shepherd hopes some of the money in deer hunters' pockets this weekend goes into her red kettle.

Shepherd coordinates Salvation Army bell ringing in Crandon.

Until she started setting up at Schaefer's grocery store six or seven years ago, no one rang bells in Crandon. She stays motivated by thinking of the people the Salvation Army helps.

"A woman came to me and said, 'If it hadn't been for the Salvation Army, my children wouldn't have Christmas.' She put a $20 bill into my bucket, and from then on, I've been hooked on the Salvation Army," Shepherd said.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER -
It doesn't matter if you plan to travel through the air or on the roads for Thanksgiving... you're bound to see a lot more traffic than usual. The Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport hopes to make that traffic flow smoothly.

Airport Director Matthew Leitner wants people to get to the airport an hour and 15 minutes before takeoff. TSA screening will begin forty-five minutes prior to take-off. The same liquid carry-on rules from years ago still apply.

"Things go very smoothly here typically, it's a beautiful airport, we have a lot of amenities, we've got a great crew, airline, TSA and airport."

"We're dealing with aircraft that are 50 seats so typically there aren't a lot of congestion with passengers cues and things of that nature which is very nice. That is a very decided advantage for our airport." says Airport Director Matthew Leitner.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here